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The Heber Springs softball team opens 4-4A district tournament play today at Pottsville against the host school with a lot on the line for both teams.
A win would advance the Panthers to the 4A-North Regional Tournament at Morrilton next week.
“It has been three seasons since a Heber softball team has played in the postseason,” Heber Springs coach Dusty West said. “We have talked all year about setting the foundation for the future and rebuilding the legacy of Heber Softball and this is part of the equation.”
To rebuild that legacy, the Panthers (9-11 overall) must get past a Pottsville team that beat Heber Springs 7-0 on April 5th in Pottsville.
“We are excited to play the host school Tuesday in the first round,” West said on Monday. “They beat us the first time on only two earned runs.
“If we can limit the number of free passes and errors, we will have a great opportunity to move on to the semis (of the district tournament) and regionals. Making a regional has been this team’s goal this year. We knew it would be a challenge and we have set ourselves up to make it reality.”
The Panthers are coming off a week which saw victories over Rose Bud (7-3 on April 18) and South Side Bee Branch on Friday (13-6) sandwiched in-between a 13-2 loss to a hard-hitting Dardanelle team on April 19th.
“This team has really been playing well here of late,” West said. “They have been getting better every time we get to play. Our pitching has become more consistent over the past two weeks and that has really helped us as a team.”
The Panthers will play the second game of the day (Dardanelle will open with Ozark) around 6:30 p.m. A win would set-up a re-match with conference champion Morrilton in the semifinals on Thursday at Pottsville.
“Coming from where we were this time last year, I couldn’t be more excited for this team and the opportunity they will have Tuesday night,” West said on Monday. “We have improved in all areas on the field this year and Tuesday is a chance for these kids to see their hard work throughout the summer/fall/winter finally pay off. ”
4-4A CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS Morrilton 5-0 16-6 Clarksville 4-1 11-7 Dardanelle 3-2 13-5 Pottsville 2-3 3-13 Heber Springs 1-4 9-11 Ozark 0-5 3-17
HEBER SPRINGS 13, SOUTH SIDE BEE BRANCH 6
Senior Kylie Carr finished with five RBIs in helping lead Heber Springs to the 13-6 win.
Each team collected 11 hits each. Heber Springs was led by junior Madison Clemons, who finished 3-for-3 at the plate.
The Panthers score a pair of runs in the first inning highlighted by a Carr double.
Singles by Clemons, Carr and Gracie Parish, and a walk by Vallie Cantrell helped Heber Springs plate six runs in the fourth inning as the Panthers led 8-0.
South Side plated three in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Addison Hudspeth also finished with a pair of hits for the Panthers.
Freshman Taylor Parker claimed the win in the circle for Heber Springs working four innings and striking out four. Brooklyn Barnes and Hudsepth each pitched in relief.
DARDANELLE 13, HEBER SPRINGS 2
Dardanelle scored in five of the seven innings to claim the win over Heber Springs.
Trailing 6-0, the Panthers plated a run in the fourth on a Hudspeth RBI single that drove in Parker, who had reached on a double.
The Sand Lizards made it 9-1 with three in the fifth and 10-1 with a run in the sixth before the Panthers plated another run after Vallie Cantrell singled and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Rylee Birmingham.
HEBER SPRINGS 7, ROSE BUD 3
Parker pitched a complete striking out 11 for Heber Springs allowing three runs on seven hits.
Hudspeth went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Panthers.
Rose Bud scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning.
Heber Springs took a 1-0 advantage in the second after Hope Turney reached on a walk and would later score on a Barnes single.
The Panthers made it 3-0 in the third as both Parish and Turney reached base and would later score on an error.
In the fourth, Parker walked, stole second and score on an error off the bat of Hudspeth. After a strikeout, Clemons drove in a Hudspeth with a two-out single to right.
Heber Springs added two insurance runs in the sixth as Parker and Birmingham both scored.
By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
SUBIACO – The Heber Springs Lady Panthers didn’t go away without a fight against Dardanelle in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game at the 4-4A Conference Basketball Tournament.
Dardanelle (8-10) went on a 13-3 scoring run, beginning with one minute left in the third quarter to 3:45 remaining in the game, and defeated the Lady Panthers 46-36.
Heber Springs, which lost its 12 consecutive game, finished the season at 10-15. The Lady Panthers’ last win came against Nemo Vista at the Mount Vernon-Enola Holiday Tournament in late December.
Jaylea Hooten and Addison Hudspeth led Heber Springs each with eight points. Hudspeth and Savannah Stout each made two 3-pointers. Hope Turney and Madison Clemons each had a 3-pointer.
Karlie Cursh scored a game high 17 points for Dardanelle. Bethani Walter contributed nine points.
The Lady Sand Lizards led throughout the first half with a 4-2 lead after the first quarter and 17-12 at halftime.
But momentum shifted to the Lady Panthers early during the third quarter. Stroud hit back-to-back 3-pointers for an 18-17 lead. Dardanelle regained the lead on two free throws by Cursh. Heber Springs then recaptured the lead on Hudspeth’s 3-pointer.
The Lady Sand Lizards pulled within one and later took the lead for good on Grace McIntyre’s 3-pointer with one minute to go in the third quarter.
Savannah Williams scored during closing seconds for a 29-25 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Dardanelle put the game away by completing the 13-3 scoring run and led by as much as 15 points, 46-31, with 48 seconds left.
Heber Springs 2 10 13 11 –36
Dardanelle 4 13 12 17–46
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Jaylea Hooten 8, Addison Hudspeth 8, Savannah Stout 6, Molly Smith 4, Sophie Stone 4, Madison Clemons 3, Hope Turney 3.
DARDANELLE SCORING (46): Karlie Cursh 17, Bethani Walter 9, Grace McIntyre 6, Jayden Vazquez 6, Savannah Williams 4, Audry Rowan 2, Elizabeth Earnest 2.
HEBER SPRINGS – Dardanelle outscored Heber Springs 21-7 in the second half and cruised to a 41-24 4-4A victory over the Panthers in senior girls play at the Panther Den.
Dardanelle (6-10 overall, 5-4 in the 4-4A) led 20-17 at the half and got 10 points from Karlie Cursh in the third quarter to take a 30-21 lead into the final stanza.
Heber Springs (10-12,0-8) was held scoreless in the third quarter before a Madison Clemons free throw with 2:32 to play in the quarter.
With the loss, the Panthers can do no better than a six seed in the upcoming district tournament at Subiaco Academy. However, with only six teams in the conference, Heber Springs will only need one win to qualify for the regional tournament at Farmington.
The Panthers will play their final home game on Saturday at the Panther Den against Clarksville. The senior boys tip things off at 2 p.m. followed by the senior girls contest.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (24): Jaylea Hooten 9, Sophia Stone 11, Molly Smith 3, Madison Clemons 1.
DARDANELLE SCORING (41): Karlie Cursh 17, Grace McIntyre 3, Savannah Williams 3, Audry Rowan 4, Bethani Walter 12, Elizabeth Earnest 2.
HEBER SPRINGS – Pottsville blew open a close game in the third quarter to down Heber Springs, 45-27, in 4-4A senior girls action Monday night at the Panther Den.
Heber Springs (10-11 overall) remains winless in 4-4A play (0-7) and have not won a game since a 45-39 victory over Nemo Vista on Dec. 28 at the Mount Vernon-Enola tournament.
For Pottsville, the Apaches improved to 13-6 overall and more importantly kept pace with Morrilton for a share a of the conference lead at 6-1 in the 4-4A.
Monday night it was close for two quarters as Pottsville led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter and the Panthers managed to tie things up at 13-all at the half after a Hope Turney 3-pointer.
Pottsville opened the second half with a 5-0 run before Savannah Stout hit a jumper to make it 18-15 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.
A 10-0 run by the Apaches made it 28-15 at the 3:00 mark of the third quarter. A pair of Molly Smith free throws stopped the bleeding, but Pottsville would manage a 31-17 advantage at the end of three quarters.
Heber Springs returns to action Tuesday when they host Dardanelle (5-10, 4-4) at the Panther Den.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (27): Hope Turney 3, Jaylea Hooten 8, Addison Hudspeth 3, Molly Smith 5, Savannah Stout 2, Madison Clemons 3, Sophia Stone 3.
POTTSVILLE SCORING (45): Rilee Underwood 11, Rylie Boley 6, Lindsey Aday 13, Layla Stroud 11, Tori Daniel 2, Annleigh Pennington 2
Pottsville 13-6 6-1
Morrilton 16-4, 6-1
Clarksville 7-13, 4-4
Dardanelle 5-10, 4-4
Ozark 11-9, 2-5
Heber Springs 10-11, 0-7
HEBER SPRINGS – Heber Springs was held to five points in the first and four quarters and fell to Morrilton, 46-24, in 4-4A senior girls action.
The Panthers were held scoreless in the first quarter but was able to hold the Devil Dogs to six points in the same time frame.
The two teams battled in the second quarter with 10 points each as Heber Springs got points from four players (Molly Smith, Jaylea Hooten, Hope Turney and Sophie Stone).
Hooten would make the front end of a one-and-one before adding a three-point play to pull the Panthers to within a basket at 16-14 with 4:37 left in the third quarter.
Morrilton would answer with a 7-0 run over the next 1:26 on a pair of baskets by Cheyanne Kemp and a 3-pointer by Grace Brown.
A Hooten field goal and a Madison Clemons 3-pointer would keep Heber Springs close to start the fourth quarter trailing, 29-19.
Morrilton would outscore the Panthers, 17-5, in the fourth quarter to take control.
Morrilton, which has won 12 out of its last 13, improves to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the 4-4A.
Heber Springs fell to 10-6 overall and 0-2 in conference. The Panthers will travel to Dardanelle (2-9, 1-2) looking for their first conference win. The Sand Lizards have lost four straight.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (24): Hope Turney 1, Madison Clemons 3, Jaylea Hooten 12, Sophie Stone 6, Molly Smith 2
MORRILTON SCORING (46): Knyah Clemons 2, Cheyanne Kemp 17, Grace Brown 13, Jennifer Hartman 2, Kamryn Reel 8, Johnna Brockman 2, Jeniah Johnson 2.
HEBER SPRINGS – South Side Bee Branch’s final 12 points all came from the free-throw line as the Hornets held off Heber Springs, 44-36, in nonconference senior girls action at the Panther Den.
The win by South Side Bee Branch avenged a 47-41 victory by Heber Springs on Dec. 4 on a neutral court in Conway.
On Tuesday, a cold second quarter doomed the Panthers (8-2) as they were outscored 12-4 in the stanza to trail at the half 18-11.
Heber Springs, which trailed 26-18 at the end of the third, went on an 8-1 run midway through the fourth quarter to pull within three at 29-26 after a 3-pointer by Sophie Stone and a three-point play by Jaylea Hooten with 4:11 left.
After a pair of free throws by South Side’s Jewel Walley, the Panthers would make it a 2-point game at 31-29 with three minutes left. Stone would hit the front end of a one-and-one while Hooten would stick the rebound back up for two.
Brinkley Smith would have an answer for the Hornets on their next possession when she drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to make 34-29.
From that point on, South Side Bee Branch (10-10) would hit 12-of-14 over the final 2:08 to hold on for the win.
On the night, the Hornets hit 21-of-25 (84 percent) while Heber Springs was 1o-of-17 (58.5 percent).
Hooten led all scorers with 19 points.
Heber Springs will open conference play Friday night at Ozark (7-3).
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Madison Clemons 1, Jaylea Hooten 19, Addison Hudspeth 4, Sophie Stone 7, Savannah Stout 3, Molly Smith 2
SOUTH SIDE BEE BRANCH SCORING (44): Erin Holland 2, Brinkley Smith 7, Marli Huddleston 4, Mollie Leonard 7, Jewel Walley 8, Emily Walley 13, Maggie Bradford 2, Emily Thomas 3
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HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 2021-2022 SCHEDULE AND RESULTS (Click on a game for previous details) (Record: 8-2, 4-4A Conference: 0-0) Nov. 09 Heber Springs 53, Mount St. Mary 42 Nov. 15 Heber Springs 59, Newport 44 Nov. 18 Heber Springs 46, Bald Knob 33 Nov. 22 Heber Springs 55, Guy-Perkins 43 Nov. 23 Heber Springs 60, Shirley 20 Nov. 29 Mayflower 61, Heber Springs 25 + Dec. 02 Heber Springs 45, Conway St. Joseph 44 + Dec. 04 Heber Springs 47, South Side Bee Branch 41 + Dec. 07 Heber Springs 49, Benton Harmony Grove 43 Dec. 14 South Side Bee Branch 44, Heber Springs 36 Dec. 17 at Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Dec. 20 at Lonoke (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at Des Arc (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 28-30 at Mount Vernon-Enola Tournament (SG, SB) Jan. 04 Morrilton (SGJV, SBJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Jan. 07 at Dardanelle (JG, JB. SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 11 at Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Jan. 14 Pottsville (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 21 Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 25 at Morrilton (SGJB, SBJB, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 01 Dardanelle (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Feb. 03 Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Feb. 08 at Pottsville (SGJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 14 District Tournament at Subiaco Academy (+ - Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
SHIRLEY – Heber Springs raced out to a 25-4 first-quarter advantage and didn’t look back in downing Shirley, 60-20, in nonconference action.
Eleven players scored for the Panthers, paced by Emily Fuller’s 9 points, as Heber Springs led 46-6 at the half and 55-6 at the end of the third quarter.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (60): Hope Turney 7, Madison Clemons 6, Jaylea Hooten 6, Addison Hudspeth 5, Sophie Stone 5, Savannah Stout 3, Lindsay Southerland 8, Molly Smith 6, Olivia Norton 3, Emily Fuller 9, Ava Little 2.
SHIRLEY SCORING (20): Haydie Breedlove 2, Ariana Bradford 7, Alex Bradford 9, Abigail Hensley 2.
HEBER SPRINGS – Raigan Head won the scoring battle, but Jaylee Hooten’s team won the game as Heber Springs downed Newport, 59-44, Monday night in senior girls action at the Panther Den.
The two juniors combined to score 71 of the game’s 103 points with Head leading the way with 36 points followed by Hooten with 35.
It would be near the end of the third quarter before another Greyhound scored a point besides Head, a transfer from Tuckerman.
“I had some kids try to guard her so I could hide Jaylea,” first-year Heber Springs coach Spencer Gay said. “I didn’t want Jaylea to pick-up some silly fouls. When I had to put some smaller kids on her, she kind of took over.
“I am used to collapsing, and not letting one kid beat us, but I haven’t had a chance to instill that in these girls. So we’ve got some work to do, but man, she is hard to stop.”
While the duo was busy scoring points, it was Hooten who was getting more help from her teammates.
A Hope Turney field goal with 3:06 left in the first quarter help capped a 6-0 run to give Heber Springs an 8-2 advantage. The junior would later add a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the quarter to finish off another 12-3 run to give the Panthers a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.
Heber Springs seemed to be in control at that point, but cooled off in the second quarter, allowing Newport (0-1) to close the gap to 10 points at the half, 26-16.
“We started off hot, but we cooled off,” Gay said. “The shots weren’t falling, but we still took any shot we could get instead of waiting for the right shot.”
Baskets by sophomores Savannah Stout and Addison Hudspeth pushed the Panthers advantage back to 14 at 30-16 with 6:58 to play in the third quarter, but the Greyhounds were able to get within 10 late in the quarter at 36-26.
Heber Springs would go on 6-0 run to start the fourth, but the Panthers couldn’t stop Head as she scored seven straight to make it a 46-35 contest with 5:53 left.
A 3-pointer by Olivia Norton and a Hooten field goal with 5:04 to play expanded the Heber Springs advantage and Newport would not get any closer.
Hooten scored 20 of her 35 points in the second half and was a perfect eight-of-eight from the free-throw line over that period — she was 13-of-15 from the line on the night.
“Jaylea sees everything as a blur,” Gay said. “She is so fast.”
It had a been a week since the Panthers opened their season with a win over Mount St. Mary.
“I did see some things we improved on,” Gay said, “but some things are still bothering me. Our transition offense is still an enigma. It still difficult to figure out for us. We just try to get going so fast.”
Heber Springs will get a chance to improve on that Thursday night when they travel to Bald Knob (1-1) for the first road game of the season.
“They have an athlete and a good shooter,” Gay said. “So they have two kids that I am going to have to worry about. We saw them this summer. We are going to see the 2-3 zone and they are going to press us, so we are going to have to be ready.”
Newport (0-1) 7 9 12 16 - 44 Heber Springs (2-0) 20 6 14 19 - 59 Newport (44): Avery Robinson 2, Raigan Head 36, Lexi Harp 2, Grace Fain 4 Heber Springs (59): Hope Turney 8, Kylie Carr 2, Madison Clemons 2, Jaylea Hooten 35, Addison Hudspeth 3, Sophie Stone 2, Savannah Stout 4, Olivia Norton 3.
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HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 2021-2022 (Click on a game for previous details) (Record: 2-0, 4-4A Conference: 0-0) Nov. 09 Heber Springs 53, Mount St. Mary 42 Nov. 15 Heber Springs 59, Newport 44 Nov. 18 at Bald Knob (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 22 Guy-Perkins (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 23 at Shirley (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at Conway St. Joseph Tournament (SG, SB) Dec. 07 at Benton Harmony Grove (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 14 South Side Bee Branch (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Dec. 20 at Lonoke (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at Des Arc (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 28-30 at Mount Vernon-Enola Tournament (SG, SB) Jan. 04 Morrilton (SGJV, SBJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Jan. 07 at Dardanelle (JG, JB. SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 11 at Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Jan. 14 Pottsville (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 21 Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 25 at Morrilton (SGJB, SBJB, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 01 Dardanelle (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Feb. 03 Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Feb. 08 at Pottsville (SGJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 14 District Tournament at Subiaco Academy
HEBER SPRINGS – Heber Springs outscored Mount St. Mary 14-3 in the second quarter and was never threatened in the second half in claiming a 53-42 season-opening win on Tuesday.
With the game tied at 8-all at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Panthers were sparked in the second by 3-pointers by Hope Turner and Liv Norton as Heber Springs would take a 22-11 advantage into the break.
Class 6A Mount St. Mary (0-1) would get within eight points with less than four minutes to play, but the Lady Panthers would put the game away at the free-throw line as Heber Springs was eight-of-nine as a team in the final stanza aided by Madison Clemons’ five-for-five effort.
Jaylea Hooten led the Lady Panthers with 15 points while the Belles’ Millie Allgood led all scorers with 20 points before fouling out late in the contest. She was six-of-seven from the line on the night as Mount St. Mary was 9-of-16 as team.
Heber Springs (1-0) returns to action on Monday when they host Newport at 5 p.m. beginning with the seventh-grade girls.
Mount St. Mary Academy (0-1) 8 3 7 24 - 42 Heber Springs (1-0) 8 14 9 22 - 53 MSM (42): Anna Kate Suffridge 3, Kate Raborn 7, Emery Horras 11, Elizabeth Kehner 1, Millie Allgood 20. Heber Springs (53): Hope Turney 3, Kylie Carr 2, Madison Clemons 9, Jaylea Hooten 15, Sophie Stone 6, Savannah Stout 7, Molly Smith 2, Liv Norton 6, Emmie Fuller 3.
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HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 2021-2022 (Record: 1-0, 4-4A Conference: 0-0) Nov. 09 Heber Springs 53, Mount St. Mary 42 Nov. 15 vs. Newport (7G,JG,SG), 5 p.m. Nov. 16 at Searcy (SGJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Nov. 18 at Bald Knob (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 22 Guy-Perkins (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 23 at Shirley (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at Conway St. Joseph Tournament (SG, SB) Dec. 07 at Benton Harmony Grove (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 14 South Side Bee Branch (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Dec. 20 at Lonoke (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at Des Arc (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 28-30 at Mount Vernon-Enola Tournament (SG, SB) Jan. 04 Morrilton (SGJV, SBJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Jan. 07 at Dardanelle (JG, JB. SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 11 at Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Jan. 14 Pottsville (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 21 Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 25 at Morrilton (SGJB, SBJB, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 01 Dardanelle (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Feb. 03 Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Feb. 08 at Pottsville (SGJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 14 District Tournament at Subiaco Academy